Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Blood From a Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead by Adam McHugh -- BOOK REVIEW



Blood From a Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead by Adam McHugh (2022, InterVarsity Press)

Blood From a Stone is an excellent memoir by a regular guy struggling with finding his true calling. McHugh was a hospice chaplain, burnt out at work and going through a rough patch in his marriage, when a trip to France taught him to appreciate wine in a new way. Eventually, he takes the big step of giving up his calling to work in the wine industry. It wasn't a smooth transition, and his story takes several detours before McHugh finds his place and peace.

McHugh has a self-deprecating tone and lively sense of humor, which makes the book a joy to read. Like all engaging memoirs, it is thoroughly entertaining and also makes you think. I plan to give this one to several people I know will love it as much as I do.


"This is the story of how wine brought me back from the dead."

Thus begins Adam McHugh's transition through the ending of one career—as a hospice chaplain and grief counselor—into the discovery of a new life in wine among the grapevines of the Santa Ynez Valley of California.

"This is the corkscrewing tale of how I got to Santa Ynez, eventually, and the questions that came up along the way," he continues. "You and I are going to take a long wine tour together on our way there, and we will make plenty of stops for a glass and some local wine history. As you will see, I reached into the old, old story of wine in order to find my new story, which begins, as so many wine love stories do, in the French countryside."

With warmth and wit, Adam tells the story of what happens when things fall apart and when where you live no longer feels like home. From the south of France to Champagne to the California central coast, the trail winds toward new life and healing through the good gifts of wine, friendship, and a sense of place. Pour a glass and join the adventure.

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